Favorite streaming box:
I spent most of 2017 using Amazon Fire Box rather than the Roku Box I had used previous years. I like both boxes (avoid the usb sticks, the boxes allow you to connect via Ethernet , which is better than just relying in wi-fi), though being an Amazon Prime member the Amazon box supports the Spotify app free version, which I got a lot of use out of in 2017. Discovering a lot of great music and musicians in 2017.
I quite like the Amazon Fire TV layout. It’s more dramatic than the standard Roku Layout, and for those like me who have an Amazon Prime account, all of your watchlist is readily available on the home screen.
And in 2017, of the three main paid streaming services, Netflix, Amazon prime and Hulu, by far I spent the least time on Netflix.
For current and recent tv programs, HULU is the way to go, providing me excellent hours of watching, from AMERICAN NINJA to POWER to LEGION to FARGO to CHOPPED to LETHAL WEAPON to ORVILLE to a host of HGTV shows. In addition it sports great classic tv shows from BIG VALLEY to THE SAINT to UFO.
For film from new to old to cult and classic and obscure, AMAZON PRIME was clearly the hands down best, offering thousands of more movie options than either Netflix or HULU. And offering such a variety of films, to put any videostore in the 80s and 90s to shame.
Among the homerun movies watched in 2017 courtesy of Amazon prime were…
THE INCUBUS (from 1982 this John Hough directed horror flick, starring the legendary and volatile John Cassavetes is surprisingly great and disturbing), the slow burn but very odd 1980 film CONTAMINATION, Amadao de Ossorio’s classic series of undead templars wreaking havoc, quite a lot of Lucio Fulci’s genre pushing films, from the extremely gory SEVEN DOORS OF DEATH to THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY to the stylistically impressive western THE SILVER SADDLE, as well as THE BLACK CAT, DON’T TORTURE A DUCKLING and a few more.
Other standouts this year watched courtesy of Amazon Prime were GOATSUCKER (the first 15 minutes are dreadful, very poor production values, performances. Stick with it because, it goes in surprisingly unexpected places. It is that rarest of things, a genre/horror film that is original and surprising), WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS, REMEMBER, SICARIO, 13 HOURS, ARMED RESPONSE, THE DANGER ELEMENT, THE DARK TAPES, STITCHES, THE DEVILS ROCK, 200 DEGREES, DEAD GAMERS, HUNTED, THE CONDEMNED, PLAN 9, STORM:LUTHER’S FORBIDDEN LETTER, THE AWAKENING, REDEEMER, SPEED RACER, BLOOD THIRST, AUDREY ROSE, CURFEW, NEVER LET GO, ARRIVAL, I HAD A BLOODY GOOD TIME AT HOUSE HARKER, BADDER BEN, SHIN GODZILLA, ARACHNIA, THE CREATURE BELOW, THROWBACK, HARD BREED TO KILL, THE MOUNTAIN II, THE HUNTER’S PRAYER, THE HUNTED, BITE, AFTERIMAGES, BIG MATCH, 1,2,3…SCREAM, THE MONSTER PROJECT, INFESTATION, BEAST OF THE YELLOW NIGHT, HOT POTATO, PATIENT, HIDE THE MONSTER, THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN, THE EVIL WITHIN, INTERROGATION, BLACK MOUNTAIN SIDE, PATIENT SEVEN, THE DUEL, HUMAN LANTERNS, 13 HOURS IN A WAREHOUSE, WILDMEN, BOONE THE BOUNTY HUNTER, TALL MEN, THE LIVING DEAD AT MANCHESTER MORGUE, CREATURE LAKE, ARMY OF THE DAMNED, BUNKER OF THE DEAD, ALWAYS WATCHING, THE BLACKCOAT’S DAUGHTER, THE DEMONIC TAPES, ORCS!, UNDERGROUND, MAN VS, THE HOUSE ON SKULL MOUNTAIN, BIO-SLIME, THERE’S NOTHING OUT THERE!, GALAXY OF HORRORS, THE WITCH WHO CAME FROM THE SEA, ARBOR DEMON, DON’T KILL IT, SAVAGELAND, RETURN TO NIHASA.
And Netflix had a few notable movies in 2017, SECURITY, BOYKA:UNDISPUTED, DEATH NOTE, THE BLACK ROOM, MESSAGE FROM THE KING, THE VOID, I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER, BLAME!; as well as a few TV shows such as RIPPER STREET, GODLESS , but the experience of watching, particularly movies on Netflix is notably just not as fun. Besides lacking the breadth of Movie choices available an Amazon in movies, or a Hulu in TV shows, the interface lacking easily accessible trailers, and ratings, and ‘customers also watched’ recommendations that makes the Amazon Prime App/Interface a lot more fun to utilize/spend time on.
Going into 2018, with Netflix raising its prices, while at the same time slated to lose its Marvel/Disney content, I’m strongly leaning toward doing away with Netflix. Especially with Net Neutrality changes poised to make Broadband more expensive, i foresee 2018 being a year of trade-offs and consolidation; and perhaps a pivotal year as regards streaming in general.